... deftly translated ... Well-developed plotlines help readers easily unravel the complex puzzle of why Saeed and Palestine left home and why he has been prohibited from returning until now ... Though gently told, this story has great depth and is broadly appealing, allowing readers to consider how the smallest actions, linked to the power of the written word, can adversely affect the future.
If you’re game for a novel about just how sad, fractured and tricky cultural identity can get, Arab-Israeli author Sayed Kashua’s Track Changes is the book for you ... [a] mournfully shape-shifting novel, deftly translated by Mitch Ginsburg.
That Kashua's protagonist is a nameless 'I' who shares considerable biographical overlaps suggests, perhaps even implies, the so-called truth of Kashua's first-person fiction. Yet his character, whose job is to transcribe others' memories onto the page, repeatedly reveals his elisions from and additions to strangers' memoirs-for-hire, often inserting his own memories as their own, thereby erasing his life in scattered pieces. The narrator's confessions are hardly reliable, making every level of his storytelling suspect, which Kashua further visually underscores by 'track changes'-style crossed-out text. For savvy, curious readers, that interplay of parsing fact and fiction proves to be a lively, interactive experience.